Watching What I Read. . .

Because all my reads last week were short, I managed to fit in an extra two books!

Murder in the Dark (Ishmael Jones, #6)  and

The Woman Who Kept Everything

So watch for my reviews over the coming days.

Currently I am reading


Which I am loving. Atkinson writes with a richness of detail that draws me in so that I am ‘there’, in the novel, experiencing everything along with her characters.

I am listening to

The Lucky Ones

Which I am also enjoying. I have a feeling that I know who is behind Allison’s ‘fall’, but I may be wrong. I often am.

This week I plan on reading

Broken Ground (Inspector Karen Pirie, #5)

Alice Somerville’s inheritance lies six feet under in a Highland peat bog – a pair of valuable vintage motorbikes buried by her grandfather at the end of World War II. But when Alice finally organises their recovery, she finds an unwelcome surprise -a body with a pair of bullet holes . . . and Nike trainers. DCI Karen Pirie of Police Scotland’s Historic Cases Unit is called in to unravel a case where nothing is quite as it seems.

Meanwhile an overheard conversation in a cafe draws Karen to the heart of a murder she thought she’d already prevented.

As Karen gets closer to the several truths, it becomes clear that not everyone shares her desire for justice. Or even the idea of what justice is.

I haven’t read any of the previous books in this series, but I love McDermid’s writing.

The Memory

She’ll never forget… I’ll never forgive.

People always notice my daughter, Isobel. How could they not? Extraordinarily beautiful… until she speaks.

An unsettling, little-girl voice, exactly like a child’s, but from the mouth of a full-grown woman.

Izzie might look grown-up, but inside she’s trapped. Caught in the day it happened… the day that broke her from within. Our family fell apart that day, and we never could pick up the pieces.

Another writer that I greatly admire. Her books are always gripping and unpredictable.

Four ARC approvals from NetGalley this week . . .

The Man With No Face

The Lost Traveller (County Cork, #7)

The Parisians

The Thing About Clare

I am looking forward to seeing what you are reading, and what new books you have on your shelves. I do love to indulge in a bit of book envy!

The weather is absolutely beautiful today, as it was yesterday, so I am off to work for a couple of hours, then I plan on spending the remainder of my day in the garden.

Happy reading my friends 💕💕💕💕💕


Watching What I Read

It really doesn’t feel like three weeks since I last posted a weekly round up. But we are mostly settled into our lovely new home. There are still 600+ books to be unpacked, but I need to buy some more shelving. I have that on my list for Wednesday, when I am off to the city for the day.

Currently I am reading

Small Great Things

which I am finding difficult to put down. My daughter-in-law loaned it to me, and she read it in one sitting in the plane on the way home from Rarotonga.

I am about to start

A Village Affair: Perfect for fans of Katie Fforde and Gervaise Phinn

which is due for publication November 6th.

I am currently listening to

Girl on a Train

which I am also loving. I am almost all done and, for once, was right about ‘whodunit’.

This week I am planning on reading

Winter Cottage

A gripping novel about family secrets…and coming home for the first time.

Still grieving the loss of her wandering, free-spirited mother, Lucy Kincaid leaves Nashville for the faded town of Cape Hudson, Virginia. She goes to see the house she’s inherited—one she never knew existed, bequeathed to her by a woman she’s never even met. At the heart of this mystery is the hope that maybe—just maybe—this “Winter Cottage” will answer the endless questions about her mother’s past…including the identity of her birth father.

Rather than the quaint Virginian bungalow Lucy expected, Winter Cottage is a grand old estate of many shadows—big enough to hold a century of secrets, passions, and betrayals. It also comes with a handsome and enigmatic stranger, a man next in line to claim Lucy’s inheritance.

Now, as Lucy sifts through the past, uncovering the legacy of secrets that Winter Cottage holds, she’ll come to discover as much about her family history as she does about herself. In searching, she could finally find the one thing she’s never really had: a home.

And hopefully I will also fit in

The Coordinates of Loss

From bestselling author Amanda Prowse comes a tale of a blissful life, a happy marriage, a beloved son…and a tragedy that destroys it all.

When Rachel Croft wakes up on her family’s boat in Bermuda, it’s to sunshine and yet another perfect day…until she goes to wake her seven-year-old son, Oscar. Because the worst thing imaginable has happened. He isn’t there.

In the dark and desperate days that follow, Rachel struggles to navigate her grief. And while her husband, James, wants them to face the tragedy together, Rachel feels that the life they once shared is over. Convinced that their happy marriage is now a sham, and unable to remain in the place where she lost her son, she goes home to Bristol alone.

Only when she starts receiving letters from Cee-Cee, her housekeeper in Bermuda, does light begin to return to Rachel’s soul. She and James both want to learn to live again—but is it too late for them to find a way through together?

Since I last posted, I have been approved for

Lost Lake (Detective Gemma Monroe, #3)


Our Little Lies

What reads do you have coming up that you are excited about?

Well, I am off to spend a couple of hours in my garden before settling in to watch the Supercars Enduro race from the Gold Coast.

Enjoy what remains of your weekend and happy reading my friends. 😎

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

EXCERPT: ‘A party?’ she says, shaking her head. ‘Oh, my dear man, you really have no idea what’s happening here, do you?’

‘Perhaps if you- -‘

‘My brother was murdered nineteen years ago tomorrow, Sebastian. I don’t know why, but my parents have decided to mark the occasion by reopening the house where it happened and inviting back the very same guests who were here that day.’

Anger is rising in her voice, a low throb of pain I’d do anything to make go away. She’s turned her head to face the lake, her blue eyes glossy.

‘They’re disguising a memorial as a party and they’ve made me the guest of honor, which I can only assume means something dreadful is coming for me,’ she continues. ‘This isn’t a celebration, it’s a punishment, and there’ll be fifty people in their very finest clothes watching it happen.’

ABOUT THIS BOOK: The Rules of Blackheath

Evelyn Hardcastle will be murdered at 11:00 p.m.
There are eight days, and eight witnesses for you to inhabit.
We will only let you escape once you tell us the name of the killer.
Understood? Then let’s begin…


Evelyn Hardcastle will die. Every day until Aiden Bishop can identify her killer and break the cycle. But every time the day begins again, Aiden wakes up in the body of a different guest. And some of his hosts are more helpful than others…

MY THOUGHTS: Alice in Wonderland meet Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life. . .with a few scenes from the movies Sliding Doors and Ground Hog Day thrown in for good measure. And speaking of movies, I think that this would make a brilliant movie!

I have had all night to think about The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, and I still don’t know what to say. This is one of the most perplexing yet compelling books I have ever read. I gave up trying to figure it out early on and just enjoyed the ride. The author does leave little clues that don’t seem important at the time, that I didn’t quite realize the relevance of until the end of the book, when I struck my forehead with the heel of my hand (very theatrically – it’s that sort of book!) and said ‘Of course! I see it all now!’ and exited stage left, or was it right?

Complex. Clever. Multi-layered. Compelling. Mind bending. These are all words that can be used to describe The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, yet even put together they can’t even begin to convey the depth and character of this novel.

My recommendation? Just read it. You will either love it and devour it hungrily, or you will hate it and, in all probability not finish it. This is a book that you can’t sit on the fence about.


THE AUTHOR: Stuart lives in London with his amazing wife and daughter. He drinks lots of tea.

What else?

​When he left university he went travelling for three months and stayed away for five years. Every time his parents asked when he’d be back he told them next week, and meant it.

Stuart is not to be trusted. In the nicest possible way.

He’s got a degree in English and Philosophy, which makes him excellent at arguing and terrible at choosing degrees.

Having trained for no particular career, he has dabbled in most of them. He stocked shelves in a Darwin bookshop, taught English in Shanghai, worked for a technology magazine in London, wrote travel articles in Dubai, and now he’s a freelance journalist. None of this was planned, he just kept getting lost on his way to other places.

He likes a chat. He likes books. He likes people who write books and people who read books. He doesn’t know how to write a biography, so should probably stop before he tells you about his dreams or something. It was lovely to meet you, though.

Stuart’s debut novel is called The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle in the UK and The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle in the US. They’re the same book. Don’t fret.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Sourcebooks Landmark via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my profile page or the about page on for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my page


Leave No Trace by Mindy Mejia

Leave No Trace by Mindy Mejia

EXCERPT: Normally I liked winter – the four-foot drifts, the nostril freezing arctic blasts that drove all the tourists away, leaving the town to the hardy, the survivors who bundled up and shoveled oceans of snow before retreating to our mugs and fleece blankets to wait out the endless December nights. Winter in Duluth was antisocial paradise and for someone whose mother suffered from chronic depression, there was a disconcerting comfort in the isolation. A home I recognized, even if I hadn’t asked for it. Today, though, I wasn’t comforted by the cold blast of wind numbing my ankle. I didn’t find relief in the absence of people on the lake walk. Today I was scared for a man I’d never met.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: There is a place in Minnesota with hundreds of miles of glacial lakes and untouched forests called the Boundary Waters. Ten years ago a man and his son trekked into this wilderness and never returned.

Search teams found their campsite ravaged by what looked like a bear. They were presumed dead until a decade later…the son appeared. Discovered while ransacking an outfitter store, he was violent and uncommunicative and sent to a psychiatric facility. Maya Stark, the assistant language therapist, is charged with making a connection with their high-profile patient. No matter how she tries, however, he refuses to answer questions about his father or the last ten years of his life

But Maya, who was abandoned by her own mother, has secrets, too. And as she’s drawn closer to this enigmatic boy who is no longer a boy, she’ll risk everything to reunite him with his father who has disappeared from the known world.

MY THOUGHTS: I think that if I lived in Duluth over the winter, I too would be severely depressed. I need sunshine. Mejia’s writing is such that I felt every bite of those icy winds. I longed to wrap myself up in blankets and light the fire as I read.

I am, because of my background, an instant reader for anything set in a psychiatric facility, anything to do with mental illness, and because I have read and enjoyed Mejia’s work previously, I just had to read Leave No Trace.

I raced through the first half of the book, enjoying the setting (despite the cold, icy description!), the character development, the moral and ethical dilemmas Mejia has scripted. But then, for the next quarter of the book, I felt like we were treading water, and my interest waned. But not for long. By the three quarters mark I was once again immersed in the story, not knowing where it was going, what the outcome would be, but rooting for both Maya and Lucas despite their conflicting circumstances.

Kudos to Mindy Mejia for giving us a great read, so very different from every other book currently out there. I will definitely be a starter for her next book. 😍😍😍😍

THE AUTHOR: My name is Mindy Mejia and I’m a writer. I write because, ever since I was six years old, my favorite game has been pretend. My life doesn’t have symmetry, theme, symbolism, or meditated beauty and I gravitate toward these things like a houseplant to the sun. I love the perfect words; I love how “fierce” and “confounded” and “swagger” look on the page and how my chest expands when I read them. I write because I believe in the reality of my fantasies, the truth in my fabrications. I’ve always had stories sneaking around my head, thrillers like THE DRAGON KEEPER and EVERYTHING YOU WANT ME TO BE, and sometimes I inhabit those stories more than my own life. (Best not to mention that last part to my husband, kids, or boss.)

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Atria Books via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of Leave No Trace by Mindy Mejia for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my profile page or the about page on for an explanation of my rating system.

This review and others are also published on my page

Her Name Was Rose by Claire Allan

Her Name Was Rose by Claire Allan
Her Name Was Rose 

Claire Allan (Goodreads Author)

Reviewed by


EXCERPT: It should have been me. I should have been the one who was tossed in the air by the impact of a car that didn’t stop. ‘Like a ragdoll,’ the papers said.

I had seen it. She wasn’t like a ragdoll. A ragdoll is soft, malleable even. This impact was not soft. There were no cushions. No graceful flight through the air. No softness.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Her name was Rose. You watched her die. And her death has created a vacancy.

When Emily lets a stranger step out in front of her, she never imagines that split second will change her life. But after Emily watches a car plough into the young mother – killing her instantly – she finds herself unable to move on.

And then she makes a decision she can never take back.

Because Rose had everything Emily had ever dreamed of. A beautiful, loving family, a great job and a stunning home. And now Rose’s husband misses his wife, and their son needs a mother. Why couldn’t Emily fill that space?

But as Emily is about to discover, no one’s life is perfect … and not everything is as it seems.

MY THOUGHTS: Her Name Was Rose by Claire Allan starts slowly, slowly sucking the reader into a vortex where it is impossible to know who to trust, who to believe. Just having finished this read, I feel shaken, still not sure which way is up, like I have just fallen from a giant tumble drier. But wow! What a ride. I enjoyed every page more than the last and wish I could have read it in one sitting. There are a few implausibilities but honestly?, I was so invested in the story that they really didn’t matter. That rarely happens to me; usually these things niggle away at me, detracting from my enjoyment, but not this time.

4.5 stars and I will be checking out this author’s other books.

Thank you to Avon Books via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of Her Name Was Rose by Claire Allan for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my profile page or the ‘about’ page on for an explanation of my rating system.

This review and others are also published on my page

The Retreat by Mark Edwards

The Retreat by Mark  Edwards
The Retreat 

Mark Edwards (Goodreads Author)

Reviewed by


EXCERPT: It was a stone house, painted white, with a steep tiled roof. It was bigger and more imposing than I’d expected. The kind of place that looked like it would always be cold inside, no matter how many fires you lit. Behind the house, a steep bank half protected it from the elements. To either side, woodland stretched as far as I could see.

Something flapped in the branches above my head, startling me and almost making me lose my balance. But I stole another look at the house before I climbed down, and smiled. It was the perfect place to write a scary book.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: A missing child. A desperate mother. And a house full of secrets.

Two years ago, Julia lost her family in a tragic accident. Her husband drowned trying to save their daughter, Lily, in the river near their rural home. But the little girl’s body was never found—and Julia believes Lily is somehow still alive.

Alone and broke, Julia opens her house as a writers’ retreat. One of the first guests is Lucas, a horror novelist, who becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to Lily. But within days of his arrival, the peace of the retreat is shattered by a series of eerie events.

When Lucas’s investigation leads him and Julia into the woods, they discover a dark secret—a secret that someone will do anything to protect…

What really happened that day by the river? Why was Lily never found? And who, or what, is haunting the retreat?

From the bestselling author of Follow You Home and The Magpies comes his most terrifying novel yet.

MY THOUGHTS: I read The Retreat overnight, in one sitting, because I simply could not bear to put it down. Yes, it’s that good. I defy anyone to read this without pulling the curtains a little tighter, without starting at every little noise. And if you have a child, I guarantee you’ll be keeping her a little closer to home, that’s if you let her out of your sight at all.

Mark Edwards has hit the ball right out of the park with his latest offering, The Retreat. I have always enjoyed his books, rated them highly, but The Retreat is something special. Nail-bitingly special. Breathtakingly special. OMG! I never saw THAT coming special.

So, I might be a bit of a sucker for a book that features a creepy old house, but that on its own is no guarantee of success with me. Edwards has this knack of being able to take a pretty ordinary situation and infuse it with enough suspense, enough emotion, enough atmosphere to hook me and keep me there right to the end.

Atmospheric. Sinister. Chilling. These are all words that can be applied to The Retreat. And let’s not forget unpredictable. Every time I came up with a theory for what happened, was happening, or what was about to happen, Edwards shot me down in flames.

Am I recommending The Retreat? Definitely. With the full five blindingly bright stars of praise.

Thank you to Thomas and Mercer via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of The Retreat by Mark Edwards for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my profile page or the ‘about’ page on for an explanation of my rating system.

This review and others are also published on my page

When In Rome and Opening Night by Ngaio Marsh

When in Rome and Opening Night by Ngaio Marsh
Reviewed by


EXCERPT: (From When in Rome) Barnaby Grant looked at the Etruscan bride and bridegroom who reclined so easily on their sarcophagal couch and wondered whether they had died young and whether, they had died together. Their gentle lips, he thought, might easily tilt into the arrowhead smile of Apollo and Hermes. How fulfilled they were and how enigmatically alike. What signal did she give with her largish hands? How touchingly his hand hovered above her shoulder.

” –from Cerveteri,” said a guide rapidly. “Five hundred and thirty years before Christ.”

“Christ,” said a tourist on a note of exhaustion.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Two full-cast BBC Radio 4 dramatisations of Ngaio Marsh short stories.

In Opening Night, a leading actor is found gassed in his dressing room. It looks like suicide, until it transpires that he was widely detested. Inspector Alleyn quickly realises that almost everyone in the theatre had a motive for his murder.

Jeremy Clyde stars as Inspector Alleyn.

When In Rome finds Inspector Alleyn joining a group of highly suspicious tourists on a visit to a Roman catacomb. The corpse he finds in an ancient sarcophagus has been very recently murdered…

MY THOUGHTS: I just love these full cast BBC Radio 4 dramatisations of Ngaio Marsh’s murder-mysteries. While they may be severely abridged in content, the professionalism with which they are produced more than compensates.

Both mysteries are well plotted, with no obvious suspects and a well balanced cast of characters.

Highly recommended.

I listened to When In Rome and Opening Night by Ngaio Marsh, recorded with a full cast and featuring Jeremy Clyde as Inspector Alleyn, produced by BBC Radio and published by AudioGO via OverDrive. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my profile page or the ‘about’ page on for an explanation of my rating system.

This review and others are also published on my page

Beneath the Water by Sarah Painter

Beneath the Water by Sarah Painter
Beneath the Water 
by Sarah Painter (Goodreads Author)
Reviewed by


EXCERPT: Downstairs, her second mug of coffee was on the low table in the living room, cold, and the television was playing, the sound muted. At once, Stella knew she couldn’t stay in this house any longer. She had managed four months, had imagined that she had turned a corner, was on an even keel – and a million other trite phrases for the ability to get through the day without falling into a black hole – but the jacket had shattered that illusion. ‘I am not okay,’ Stella said to the table. The words came out very quietly, almost a whisper. It was like a promise. I am not okay. I am not okay.

THE BLURB: Munro House is the new start Stella needs. But it will also draw her back to a dark past…

Devastated by a broken engagement, Stella Jackson leaves her old life behind for a new start in rural Scotland. But when she arrives in the remote coastal village of Arisaig, nothing is what she expected.

At the edge of Arisaig sits Munro House; grand, imposing and said to be cursed by a string of tragic deaths. No less intriguing is its eccentric and handsome young owner, Jamie Munro, who hires Stella as his assistant while he pursues a seemingly impossible aim. Working through the great house’s archives, Stella soon finds herself drawn in by a cache of increasingly erratic letters from a young Victorian woman about her husband, Dr James Lockhart, a man whose single-minded ambition has strange parallels with Jamie’s.

Just as Stella begins developing feelings for Jamie, she discovers that the connection between the Lockharts and the Munros could have sinister repercussions for them both. She’s finally found the life she wants to live—but is it all an illusion?

MY THOUGHTS: I wasn’t particularly enamoured with the first part of Beneath the Water by Sarah Painter. I wanted to shake Stella and tell her to get a grip. It took me until I was half way through the book to really come to grips with it, and then it gripped me.

Told over two timelines, the current day and the 1840’s, I at first failed to see the relevance of the letters from a young, frightened, newly married woman. But it is worth persevering, all becomes clear and several secrets are revealed.

As you may have noted, I didn’t particularly like Stella in the beginning. I thought she was wimpy and weak. But as the story progresses and Stella is forced to deal with a variety of situations, her strength of character is revealed.

Jamie, Stella’s new boss, at first comes across as ‘superior’ and, in my eyes, slightly unhinged. But as his character developed and the reasons for his behavior were revealed, he began to grow on me.

The second part of the book was definitely superior to the first, in my humble opinion. It was full of suspense, surprises, and revelations, and I found it hard to put down.

3.5 stars from me for this romantic suspense mystery novel, Beneath the Water.

Thank you to Lake Union Publishing via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of Beneath the Water by Sarah Painter for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my profile page or the ‘about’ page on for an explanation of my rating system.

This review and others are also published on my page

Sandy’s Sunday Summary

Time, once again, to take a look at what I’m currently reading, what I am planning on reading in the coming week, and what ARCS I have been approved for from NetGalley this week.

Currently I am reading and really enjoying

Little Liar

Which was published Thursday 1 February by Bookouture.

I have just started listening to

Orange Blossom Days

I haven’t read Patricia Scanlan for some time, so was pleased to come across this when I was scrolling through the OverDrive selection available from my local library.

In the coming week I am planning on reading

The Tattooist of Auschwitz

The Tattooist of Auschwitz is based on the true story of Lale and Gita Sokolov, two Slovakian Jews who survived Auschwitz and eventually made their home in Australia. In that terrible place, Lale was given the job of tattooing the prisoners marked for survival – literally scratching numbers into his fellow victims’ arms in indelible ink to create what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust. Lale used the infinitesimal freedom of movement that this position awarded him to exchange jewels and money taken from murdered Jews for food to keep others alive. If he had been caught, he would have been killed; many owed him their survival.

There have been many books about the Holocaust – and there will be many more. What makes this one so memorable is Lale Sokolov’s incredible zest for life. He understood exactly what was in store for him and his fellow prisoners, and he was determined to survive – not just to survive but to leave the camp with his dignity and integrity intact, to live his life to the full. Terrible though this story is, it is also a story of hope and of courage. It is also – almost unbelievably – a love story. Waiting in line to be tattooed, terrified and shaking, was a young girl. For Lale – a dandy, a jack-the-lad, a bit of a chancer – it was love at first sight, and he determined not only to survive himself but to ensure that Gita did, too. His story – their story – will make you weep, but you will also find it uplifting. It shows the very best of humanity in the very worst of circumstances.

Like many survivors, Lale and Gita told few people their story after the war. They eventually made their way to Australia, where they raised a son and had a successful life. But when Gita died, Lale felt he could no longer carry the burden of their past alone. He chose to tell his story. Publisher’s Summary

Seven Dead

Ted Lyte, amateur thief, has chosen an isolated house by the coast for his first robbery. But Haven House is no ordinary country home. While hunting for silverware to steal, Ted stumbles upon a locked room containing seven dead bodies. Detective Inspector Kendall takes on the case with the help of passing yachtsman Thomas Hazeldean. The search for the house’s absent owners brings Hazeldean across the Channel to Boulogne, where he finds more than one motive to stay and investigate.

I have read and enjoyed several other of this author’s detective stories.

The Lying Kind (Detective Rachel Prince #1)


Six-year-old Lola Jade Harper is taken from her bedroom. Her mother is distraught. She is convinced her estranged husband, Gavin Harper, has abducted their daughter.

Detective Rachel Prince is leading the investigation but is soon out of her depth as she searches for the most high-profile missing child in the country. To uncover the truth about Lola’s disappearance, Rachel must untangle the Harper family’s complicated web of secrets and lies.

As the case progresses, the body of a local woman is found. The death at first seems unrelated, until a trail of social media posts lead Rachel to a chilling discovery.

And then another little girl is taken…

With growing pressure from the public and the appearance of someone from her past she’d rather forget, will Rachel be able to solve the connection between the two missing children and the murder – before it’s too late?

Truly addictive from start to finish, The Missing Child is a tense, enthralling crime thriller by one of the best new voices in crime fiction. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Peter James and Karin Slaughter.

Previously called The Missing Child

And finally, books I have been approved for from NetGalley this week. As you can see, I went a bit overboard with my requests this week. But the publication dates are nicely spread out, so I should be able to keep up with my reading schedule.

I, Witness (Madison Attalee, #1)      After Nightfall

BEFORE I FOUND YOU a gripping mystery full of killer twists      A Steep Price (The Tracy Crosswhite Series Book 6)

Cold Heart (Detective Kate Matthews, #3)      The Gallery of the Dead

Bring Me Back      The Babysitter

See what I mean. . .

But isn’t there a beautiful range of covers. No two are alike.

That is my reading plan for the week. I look forward to you sharing your plans with me. I love to see what everyone else is reading.

Happy reading!

The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances

The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances
The Girlfriend 
by Michelle Frances (Goodreads Author)
Reviewed by


EXCERPT: “You’re deluded. Just let go, let go of him.” He looked at her with a new distance, as if he didn’t know her. “Stop making excuses for your obsessive behavior. You’ve driven him away- you- and you’ve only got yourself to blame. ”

THE BLURB: A girl. A boy. His mother. And the lie she’ll wish she’d never told.

The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances is a gripping and chilling debut psychological thriller, based on the fall-out following an unforgiveable lie. It looks at the potentially charged relationship between girlfriend, boyfriend and his mother, which most women can identify with, and locates it in an extreme but believable setting.

Laura has it all. A successful career, a long marriage to a rich husband, and a twenty-three year-old son, Daniel, who is kind, handsome, and talented. Then Daniel meets Cherry. Cherry is young, beautiful and smart but she hasn’t had the same opportunities as Daniel. And she wants Laura’s life.

Cherry comes to the family wide-eyed and wants to be welcomed with open arms, but Laura suspects she’s not all that she seems.

When tragedy strikes, an unforgiveable lie is told. It is an act of desperation, but the fall-out will change their lives forever.

MY THOUGHTS: The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances is a good, but not great read. It is a little slow in places, and I was not particularly enthusiastic about the ending. The level of suspense varies, and I found that some situations that ought to have been suspenseful just weren’t. The opening chapter, a scene from later in the book, didn’t work for me. I imagine it was designed to increase the reader’s anticipation, but it did nothing to increase mine. This is one book where the story should have just started at the beginning and continued to slowly build up the tension until the final denouement.

But, having said that, the characters are well portrayed. I particularly enjoyed the relationship between Laura and Izzie, Laura’s best friend. The close bonds between the two women, friends of old, is well depicted. As were the scenes where Laura and Cherry first meet. Cherry’s social awkwardness just oozed from the page, and while Laura is doing everything to make Cherry feel welcome, Cherry is almost searching for things to take offense at. And everything escalates from there, with Laura trying to be friends and Cherry pushing her away, both from herself and Laura’s adored only son, until Laura catches Cherry out in a lie and decides that there is more (or perhaps less) to her son’s girlfriend than meets the eye.

The basic storyline is good, and although The Girlfriend missed the mark with me, only just, I think that it is a good debut novel from new author Michelle Frances, and I will be a definite starter for her next book.

Thank you to Kensington Books via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my profile page or the ‘about’ page on for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my page